I am struggling. It may or may not show on the outside, to my friends and family, but I'm pretty sure those in my house can see it. I am not me, if that makes sense. Over the past month I have experienced some of the scariest things. What I thought was an allergy attack was actually anxiety.
Anxiety is hard to shake. The feeling of my throat closing, or at other times my heart racing and my stomach hurting, comes more often than I care to think about. Have I just let myself worry about little things for so long that my body is physically revolting against me? It would seem so.
Thinking back on this past year, I have been struggling to think positively about my life. Deep down I knew that I have a beautiful family and my dream home. I live in a safe little town with my parents and siblings close by. I have a great church family. And yet, I have felt empty and joyless. Why?
I think I am finally cluing in to the answer. I have been looking everywhere, except to my God, for joy and fulfilment. I kept thinking that if I just read the right book, or ate the right foods, did the right things with my kids, lost weight, etc, that I would be happy and find my joy. It isn't happening folks! I have hit the wall, the bottom, the end of my rope. There is no where but up.
All along I have felt this tug. That I kind of knew what was missing, but didn't want to take the time to fix it and do what is required. Simply spending time with the One who created me for His pleasure. Why is that so hard for me?
So today (and I am embarrassed to admit this) my Internet connection was out. Usually I start my morning with a nice dose of Facebook and email time, with a side of blogs and Instagram. Maybe even some Pinterest, if I have a moment. Yeah. Anyway, it wasn't working, so I figured I would check out one of the many books I have downloaded and not even glanced at. I started with one called Parenting from the Overflow.
The first chapter talks about how hard parenting is, and when you are drained, you can only give out of the overflow of your heart. So whatever is there will come busting out. I haven't been necessarily reading bad things online, but if it isn't the Word of God, it isn't the best. Shouldn't I strive for the best?
After reading that first chapter, I was convicted. I didn't want another anxious moment. Today is Bria's 6th birthday. I had an anxiety attack yesterday when I realized that I didn't have anywhere for Rowan and Emery to go while I take Bria and her friends to a local pottery place for her party. Yup. It took something so small to set me off. For the rest of the evening I tried to fight the feeling of my throat totally closing on me. Not fun.
So instead of pushing that conviction away like I usually do, I decided to read Ephesians chapter 1. I want to share what I learned, mostly to help it stick in my mind.
- God blesses me with every Spiritual blessing
- God chose me before creation to be holy
- God loves me and adopted me for his pleasure
- God freely gives his grace
- God redeemed me through Christ's blood
- God forgives my sin
- God lavishes his grace on me
- God made known his will
- God chose me to be the praise of his glory
- God marked me with his Holy Spirit who guarantees my inheritance
I want to memorize Ephesians 1:18-19a
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe."
Isn't that a powerful statement? The reason why I started in Ephesians is because I knew that it is an encouraging book. I needed something to point to the truths of how much God loves me. I have really struggled with that. Likely due to the fact that I haven't been reading the Word. I was feeling like God just wanted to test me and make me struggle. After all, there are verses about suffering and going through trials. How is that supposed to make me feel good?
I really have felt like this past year has been a test for me, but I didn't know why. I know God wants me to grow. Growing hurts. I just plan on making sure I don't forget to stay in fellowship with the One who knows his plans for me.